Dealing With Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As states are dealing with shelter in place orders due to coronavirus, divorced parents are struggling to deal with child custody situations. What happens when parents live in different counties? Should children stay with one parent only? What happens when one parent is a health care worker who is at risk of contracting COVID-19? What is the best way to protect children?
In some cases, stay-at-home orders and custody orders conflict with each other, so what is a parent to do? The truth is that there are no laws in place to guide parents. We have never been in this type of situation before, so we’re in confusing times right now. No child custody agreement mentions the possibility of a pandemic.
Plus, courts are closed, so it’s pretty much up to parents to work together and find a solution that works best. There is no right way to parent right now. However, custody exchanges are considered essential for the most part and they are in the child’s best interest, so parents should do their part to come up with a solution that benefits
For some parents, it’s business as usual. They’ll continue with their child custody schedule. Some parents, however, are worried about the health of their children and believe that staying with just one parent for now is best. Trying to figure out what to do in such a confusing situation? Here are some guidelines to consider.
Guidelines to Consider
Make sure you take the following considerations into mind when determining child custody:
- Follow court orders.
- Follow local and state orders (stay-at-home orders and family law orders)
- Communicate effectively with the co-parent.
- Be honest.
- Use reliable news sources to make parenting decisions.
- Make arrangements to make up for any lost parenting time.
- Focus on being virtual.
While these guidelines can help, they cannot always prevent a custody crisis. Even lawyers are unsure how to proceed right now, with courts still closed. The best thing you can do as a parent is act calm and do your best to work things out with the other parent while considering the safety of your child. Be willing to negotiate and compromise and avoid doing anything that you will later regret. After all, you may have to explain your actions to a judge.
Courts are available for emergency orders only, so if you are in a situation that requires an urgent decision, contact a lawyer right away. A judge will help protect your child in situations where you fear for their safety.
Contact a Maryland Divorce Lawyer Today
We are living in unprecedented times. No laws provide for advice on how to proceed with child custody and visitation situations during a pandemic, so it’s normal to feel confused right now.
Need help navigating child custody during these challenging times? The Columbia child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can address your concerns and help you keep your children safe. We have two offices to serve you. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987.